House of Fraser has asked for substantial rent reductions from a number of its landlords.

The beleaguered department store group, which is owned by Chinese conglomerate Sanpower, has made the “informal” request in recent weeks.

It is not known how many landlords have been approached or what any revised terms might look like.

House of Fraser, which has been the subject of industry speculation for months, is currently in the midst of a transformation plan in a bid to become more experiential with a better selection of fashion brands.

The ratings agency Moody’s downgraded the retailer last month, describing it is a “very high credit risk”. The downgrade was yet another blow to House of Fraser, which has battled tough high street conditions and multiple changes of management in recent years.

The retailer confirmed that it had approached landlords. A spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that we have contacted some of our landlords asking for their support as we drive forward with our transformation programme.”